John Stride

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Macbeth Review


Very Good
Roman Polanski has seen his share of violence in the real world, so it's not too surprising that the Shakespearian play he opted to direct was Macbeth, which follows a series of bloody murders and a rapidly descent into madness. Made shortly after the Sharon Tate murders, there's a disturbing resonance when Macbeth's gang of wild-eyed assassins butchers noble MacDuff's wife and children.

The production design is murky, as though everything were taking place after a storm, with the actors wearing drab brown under heavy, tangled hair and beards. Everyone looks grim and unhappy, and they don't emote very much. The killers, including Jon Finch's Macbeth, stumble semi-moronically into their choices -- even would-be good guy MacDuff (Terence Bayler) comes off as less of a heroic avenger than an ignorant thug.

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